Worthwhile Home Improvements

While most homes require minimal improvements, you will be much better off if you make the types of changes that are worth the extra investment.

Though there are no guarantees that any sort of home improvement will allow you to list your home at a higher price, some home renovations are much more worthwhile than others. While several people may decide to knock down walls and purchase designer cabinetry, others may find that basic changes are quite important. The three repairs that tend to result in a larger return include floors, roofs, and kitchens.

Let’s begin with your floor. What does your floor look like? If you have wall to wall carpeting, is it in good shape? If your floors consist of hard wood, is it polished? Make sure that carpets are stain free and that wood shines brightly. However, if your floors have seen better days, it may be time to replace them. Though carpet tends to be cheaper than wood, wood often sells much better. Many buyers love the look of hardwood floors throughout a home, and while you are in the selling process you can always place throw rugs on top of your wooden floors to protect them. Aside from carpet and wood, you may consider ceramic floors for some of the rooms in your home… just make sure that your tiles are not chipped, cracked, or loose. Next, turn your attention to your roof.

Believe it or not, prospective buyers will always ask about your roof. When was it last fixed? When was your roof installed? Have you had any problems with your roof? Are there any loose shingles? A new roof can be a great selling point, and this home improvement should never be overlooked. You know it (and buyers know it) – roofs are expensive to replace. Still, if your roof is in desperate need of attention, find the money and replace it. Buyers will certainly walk away from a roof that needs to be renovated. Lastly, look to the one room in the house that everyone loves to spend time in … the kitchen.

When you think of an ideal kitchen, what sort of image comes to mind? Though your picture perfect kitchen may come with marble countertops and gleaming cabinets, it definitely does not come with chipped counters and broken down appliances. Spend a few moments staring at your existing kitchen, and decide if your counter, backsplash, cabinets, and appliances are in good shape. If not, begin repairing your kitchen, and start with the countertops. You don’t have to replace an entire kitchen, just make sure that everything appears to be new and clean.

Spending a small fortune on home renovations is not necessary, but make sure your kitchen, roof, and floors are up to par. Once you create a desirable house, buyers will begin to see your home’s overall appeal … and isn’t that the whole point?

Does Home Maintenance Feel Like Groundhog Day?

As you’re wandering the aisles of your local home-improvement store, filling your cart with expensive items and reviewing your long list of repairs, are you struck with a feeling of deja vu? Home maintenance can be a living nightmare if the property is continually falling apart under your feet and over your head. If you feel like you’re spending every Saturday painting, hammering or gluing your home back together, it could be time to change tactics.

Fix it quickly.

Has the faucet been leaking for months? Seriously, you need to fix that ASAP. First of all, if you added up all the water you’ve wasted over that time period you might be astounded. Not to mention the water bill associated with all those gallons (yes, gallons) of water that went down the drain (literally). With many problems, if you put off fixing them, they’re bound to get worse. If you avoid regular home maintenance such as changing air-conditioning filters, you’ll end up with a bigger problem on your hands down the line.

Don’t sacrifice convenience for quality.

Duct tape fixes everything, right? It might seem like a good idea to adhere to this popular adage, but before you grab the nearest roll of metallic adhesive and start strapping down loose pipes and ceiling fans, consider the consequences. Going for a quick fix is definitely quick, there’s no denying that. But as for the “fixing” part, opting for the cheap or easy option might not be the most beneficial choice in the long run. While the above advice (fix it quickly) still stands, you have to find a happy middle ground between “haphazardly fixing the problem ASAP” and “putting it off for a year.” Take the time to fix it right, and you’ll be thanking yourself later when you don’t have to fix it again.

Hire a professional.

This one goes right along with choosing quality and taking the time to do it right. If the issue is out of your realm of expertise, you should seriously consider hiring a professional to complete the job for you. For one thing, if you attempt to make a repair and you don’t have the skill or knowledge to do it correctly, you could end up creating a bigger problem. This translates to more money, time and hassle on your part — certainly more frustrating than sacrificing your pride and calling a professional from day one. If you’re working with a property management company, ask your property manager for a list of repair companies they recommend for the job. Depending on your lease, the property managers might actually facilitate a repair at the owners’ expense. (Sounds like a winning situation for letting your pride take one for the team.)